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The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by cornix on 9/4/2018, 22:57

Cora spit out some blood. At some point she had bitten her tongue and it was now bleeding. How utterly annoying. Her breathing was slowly getting less heavy but it started to hurt more. She just hoped she did not break any bone in the process, that would be rather unfortunate and she really could not use that right now, given the possible fights she still had.
Alan closed in and tried to help her up, but she just shoved his hand away and stood up herself. She was way too angry at the whole situation to want any help from anyone.

The papery person suddenly started talking.
"Such dishonor. Such disgrace."
He continued talking, laughed and continued talking again. All of this while Cora was slowly limping closer to him. Very slowly but steadily.
"Demon, he shays. He calls us demons. He calls Alan a demon. Alan is the nicest one here. He can't harm a fly. You shent those guys our way. I did not ask for a fight.", she whispered to herself, it sounded a bit odd, given her tongue was still bleeding and hurting. She spit out blood again. Still closing in, but still quite far away.
"Holyness...ghosts. Meaningless. You are shtill meaningless. How can someone shteal from you if you are meaningless, if noone cares, if you don't care. You don't make shense, old man."
"Today, the high prophet will lead us to the stars.", the old man said.
Cora was still a good five to six meters away from him.

"Are you done?", she asked him in a loud voice. The man looked at her but by the time he was about to say something else, Cora was already by his side, with a hand on his mouth.
She took the knife and stabbed him through his thin torso, leaning in to his ear.
"I shall be your prophet. I shall lead you to the stars."
Cora turned the knife around, pulled it out a bit and slit open his stomach.
He let out a scream, muffled by Cora's hand.
She looked down, took the knife out, pushed it back him and simply slid it all the way up to his chin. It was rather easy going through his ribs, given his age.
Cora turned around, spit out some more blood and looked at Alan.

"Don't get mad. He was useless. Did you not see the rooms? They were empty.", she said with a cold, almost bored voice, "They left earlier, the lamps were still warm. They were a distraction."

Cora limped downwards and looked at Alan. He was going to be mad. Very mad. She was almost fearing what he would do to her. There had never been a time when she went so against something a superior of her had said. Cora did not have many friends either, and now she felt as if she had ruined it. But it was too late now. It was done. He was dead. And given her professional opinion, she had been right with what she had done as well.
Nec and Vex started bothering her, she quickly turned her head away, and headed towards behind the chair. There had to be an exit somewhere and she was determined to find it.
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Mitsuo Shimura on 9/4/2018, 23:35

"Don't get mad," the words fell off of Cora's damaged tongue.

Mitsuo was mad throughout that man's speech, Mitsuo was mad he had been stabbed and Mitsuo was mad he had to witness Cora kill that man.

He would've e looked away if he had the strength but his legs quivered and he feared he would collapse to his knees.
The adrenaline had left the mechanic's body and pain seeped out of the wound where he had been stabbed.
Mituso gritted his teeth as a distraction.

"Don't be mad," he scoffed, anger clearly audible in his tone.
"First off, he was our only lead to where the rest went but now we can't find them, thanks to you.
Second off, he wanted that! It was clear! Why did you give it to him! He should have suffered! Enough to the verge of death but not enough for him to die! I would have taken away what he wanted, got my evens and still kept to Alan's rules."

Mituso let out a long, heavy exhale of breath.
"So, don't take it personally when I say I'm definitely going to be mad."

Mitsuo fell to one knee, grunting from the energy that quickly decreased in his body.
"This was pointless now. You've ruined Alan's mission and wasted both our times."

The young Shimura's other knee hit the floor hard which would definitely leave a bruise soon.
"I didn't really wanted to know if this place existed or not but now I do. A nightmare I had to walk through slowly, breathe in and gain memories of, for what?"

Mitsuo's head hung low once more and the shadow of his face was soon again cast.
When he spoke two final words his voice was weak and quiet, showing signs of defeat.

"For what?"
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 13/4/2018, 02:34

The Military Police Captain stood stoic and silent as the old man spoke of his prophet and the cult. Finally, he was getting some information, some context. The gear was being used by this cult, probably as a tool to further their ends of 'Being led to the stars', whatever that meant. It was also that name, Mikael, another lead to follow. A thief who betrayed the group, before it was reorganized as a cult. Interesting.
Subconsciously, Alan also saw Cora shuffle her way towards the old man. He didn't heed it any mind - perhaps her hearing was damaged during the fight, and she wanted to hear his words more clearly. However, when she spoke, the truth of the matter had been made too clear.

"Are you done?" the lone alpha asked, blood lining the tip of her tongue, like a hollow, humanoid snake. Quick as a flash, with strength and willpower Alan hadn't thought could still be in her, she appeared beside the man, her palm covering his mouth. In her eyes, the same expression as always - focused, irritated.
Her knife flashed in the candlelight. Alan figured out what was going to happen all too late, same as the robed man.
"No, wait-!" the young MP called out, but to no avail. Before him, the old man was killed. Butchered, like an animal. Split open, stabbed, cut right across. The whimpering cries of his final moments of anguish were muffled by Cora's well-placed hand.
Alan stared, mouth agape, eyes open wide, almost about to pop. His mind could barely register what he was seeing. It was so wrong, so very wrong. Like a nightmare within a nightmare. And then, only a moment after it had started, it was done. The old man slumped over in his chair, his life depleted and his entrails carpeting the floor before him in a crimson veil of blood.
And then, most surreal of all, Cora Wolf, the woman Alan had defended in the past, Alan's friend, whom he trusted, turned to him, spit out blood to the side, and spoke coldly to him. Directly to him.
"Don't get mad. He was useless. Did you not see the rooms? They were empty.", she said with a cold, almost bored voice, "They left earlier, the lamps were still warm. They were a distraction."

Mitsuo began speaking his mind, but Alan was standing, staring horror-struck at Cora. He was appalled. Fuming. Infuriated. He had never been this angry in his entire life. He had seen the cruelty of men, the injustice one may cause, but never so blatantly, so openly and without shame. Cora truly did not believe in the error of her way. She did not even comprehend the damage she had done. Such disregard for human life! It was unthinkable! She was a human, serving humanity. How could she kill with such ease, cause such pain and torture without blinking? At that moment, Alan understood his suspicions were seemingly correct all along. Cora was not just a professional mercenary. She was bred into fighting. She was a sadist, and she wholeheartedly believed in her twisted version of so-called justice, and acted by it without hesitation. Alan had spoke so, so long ago, during her trial. She was not okay. She was a danger to herself and a danger to others around her. She needed professional treatment, not to be released from the army. He didn't know at the time the lengths to which she could go, the depths to which she could sink. He was right, after all this time. He was so busy caring for the safety of his friend, that he turned a blind eye to the danger she was to humanity.
A thought occurred to Alan. Cora's personalities. Vec and Nex. She mentioned she allows them to take control when she sees fit, that she trusts them. Alan had no belief in these fabrications of the psyche, but perhaps it was one of them who was in control now, who spoke to Alan with such frigid words, who fought off the goons, who took that knife and sliced and chopped and-
Nevermind. That doesn't change the facts. Personality A or personality B, it matters not. Cora just killed a defenseless, clearly un-aggressive old man out of sheer spite. Justice, as she would call it. Unthinkable. Unfathomable. Unacceptable.

Alan wanted nothing more than to snap at Cora. To tell the she-bitch off, to call her out for the mentally unstable, dangerous mess that she was. To list just how flawed and immoral her actions and judgement are. To make it abundantly clear that she was a monster, worse than any titan had ever been. To enforce the idea that she has no friends, that people either manipulate her or fear her. That the world would be a better, safer place without the horrid likes of her running about. He wanted to slap some sense into her, to make her feel the pain that she had not only directly caused on her many victims, but the emotional pain all those around her had to deal with. To detail just how far her actions set back the mission. To scream at her all the profanities of a defeated man, who's last trail of hope was just taken from him.
But at the same time, Alan Katlewande knew it was not the right thing to do. He could scream at her all he wanted, but it won't change the fact their source was dead, nor that Mitsuo was shattered, nor that Cora was absolutely right about the fact that this was likely a distraction.
With the superhuman fortitude of years of training, Alan restrained himself. He did allow himself one word.
He looked over at Cora, and the lone wolf stared back, unblinking. The storm brewing behind the captain's glasses was colder and harsher than ever before.
"Fool." he said, his voice seeping with loath and venom. He meant it, truly.

But Alan was a captain, and a captain on a mission. However bad things had become, they were still so very close to finding the whole truth, to stopping whatever was being planned. And in order to do that, he will need all of his soldiers.
Alan paced in front of Mitsuo and took a knee in front of the defeated, broken soldier. He placed a hand gently on the shoulder of the scout, reassuring him that the world isn't over.
"Hey." he spoke, his voice free of anger or judgement "It's going to be okay. You can't just shuffle off and hide, right? You're the fire that burns deep in the torch. The hope of humanity. The wings of liberty. You're a shining example of all the good in the world, of all the courage and compassion and wisdom and love that we are capable of, as humans. You've saved dozens of people. You've touched hundreds of hearts. They need your light for guidance."
Alan smiled, an honest, apologetic smile, and tightened his grip on the mechanic's shoulder.
"Can you do that for me, Mitsuo? Everyone's counting on you. I'm counting on you, friend."
A thud interrupted the moment of respite. It came from outside, from the sound of it - right behind the chair. That's where Cora was already standing - she had found a hidden door placed behind one of the curtains. Alan knew that time was of the essence, and so he left Mitsuo to his own strength, believing in his ability to pull through.
All feelings of comradery for Cora were gone, however, in their place stood the freezing restraints of repulsion. Alan had lost his faith in the good she had in her, in her ability to walk the path of righteousness. He was hurt, feeling betrayed, feeling misled. He felt the pain of losing a dear friend, but in the friend's place he met a horrible thing he could not face.
Alan walked quickly towards the Alpha, and towards the secret exit. Before he left through it, he spoke quietly, not daring to look her in the eyes, lest he give away just how hurt he was.
"You will answer for your actions in time, monster."

The exit led directly outside. The trio headed through it, only to find themselves in an open courtyard, completely framed by buildings around. It seemed like a private garden that was converted into a training ground. However, something has gone horribly wrong, so very horribly wrong. The source of the thud they heard earlier was all too clear.
Fallen bodies, broken and bloodied.
Above them, lining the great stone wall of the cave, rose dozen of people using 3DMGs. Some were carrying others on them, or strapped to them by a tether. Some were old, some were barely more than children. Only a few seemed healthy enough to actually attempt something like this. Slowly but surely, they were scaling the wall, rising higher and higher. Hook by hook, using limited gas and their hands and feet as boosts, they attempted to rise up.
A scream, a young girl's hook gave way, and she tumbled to the ground. The houses in the foreground hid the result of her landing, but the sound made it all too clear what had just happened.
The puzzle aligned in Alan's head. He let out a brisk curse. "He meant it literally," he spoke aloud, not daring to take his eyes over the ascending cultists "The robed man, he meant it literally. They are literally rising towards the exit, the way. That's what he meant by 'leading them to the stars'."
Alan paced quickly, recalling facts he had read earlier about The Underground. The height of the cave, the sturdiness of the rocky surface, the different exists present throughout the complex.
He turned to Mitsuo and Cora, pale and slightly shaking. "There's no way they're gonna make it. The Prophet tricked them." Alan's eyes darted to another unfortunate man who was stumbling to his untimely demise "The cave cannot sustain this sort of weight, they will all fall and die before they reach the top."
Alan clamped his hands. These lives were hanging by a thread. They had to make sure no more lives were lost today. No more waste of human lives.
Alan eyes darted between Mitsuo and Cora. He was going to ask of them a big request, and he hoped they were up to the task.
"You two are far more trained in 3DMG than anyone here. I'll need you to do your best to hang below these climbers and catch them if they fall. Be careful for your own lives, of course, but see if you can hook in and catch them before they hit the ground."
Alan sighed, and looked at the two, determined more than ever.
"I know I am asking a lot. Almost the impossible. But by the walls, if your actions here can mean the difference in a single man's life, then you've made more than enough of a difference."
Alan stepped back, pulling out some papers from his jacket and rolling them into a makeshift amplifier.
"Can you do this for me?" Alan asked, legitimately asking how far these brave people were willing to go.
Hopefully, the answer would be 'Far enough'.

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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by cornix on 13/4/2018, 18:03

As Mitsuo talked Cora said nothing. And as Alan talked she said nothing either. Even though she was hurt and angry. Angry at Mitsuo for being pathetic. And hurt at Alan for calling her a fool.
Mitsuo was being the fool! Not her! She had done what was right. She had saved them time by being distraced by an old man talking nonsense. How could Mitsuo say that he had been the only lead? They would find them. He had been keeping them off of their way. Without him and his two men neither of them would have been hurt now.
Why did he say she had ruined the mission? She had sped it up. He was useless. He was old. He was clearly confused. He was of no worth to either of them. Yes, she should not have killed him and that was the only thing in his whole speach that hurt her.
She just got mad at the rest. He was complaining about her killing a man. A useless man. Useless. Useless. Useless.
He...he seemed to be hurt, shocked by what she had done. And not just him. Alan as well. Why? Why were they like this? They should know she was this way, they should know what she had to go through. They should UNDERSTAND what she had to go through. They should have seen the pain, the grief, the loss of everything she had. She thought they knew. She thought that that one time she had taken Mitsuo down to the black market, he would have understood. She thought that one time would have been enough to make him...know what her life had always been about.
But he didn't. Mitsuo didn't. Alan didn't. None of them did. Not a single person of them actually understood. They saw the result of it. They judged the result of Cora's horrors. But they did not understand them.

Her teeth began clattering and she pressed them together to not make a sound or let anyone know.

She looked up again, seeing Alan comforting Mitsuo. That's how it was, eh? They all understood each other, noone understood her. They did not even try.


As they exited the room, Cora had spiraled herself down enough to not care about what Alan had to say to her anymore.
'Monster', he said. That's what she was for him. 'Friend' he called Mitsuo. 'Hope', 'shining example', 'good', 'courage', 'compassion', 'wisdom' and 'love'. And what was she? A 'Monster'. She was the opposite. She was not his friend. She was his executioner. She was no symbol for hope. She was a symbol for despair. A shining example she was! For all the bad. Nothing of what he had called him applied to her.

A familiar, beautiful sight was in front of them. Bloody, broken bodies. Cora almost felt at home. She smiled happily. There was atleast a bit of family in this mission. She looked at the courtyard, taking a deep breath in. It smelled just like home. Blood. Fear. Sweat.
The corpses turned their heads towards her. They were smiling. Her smile got wider and she closed her eyes.
"Home", she whispered. But after she had opened them again, none of them were looking towards her. Or smiling.

Only now did she realized the huge amount of live people, trying to get towards the exit.
"There's no way they're gonna make it. The Prophet tricked them."
Alan panicked. Cora's eyes turned cold again. So, he tricked them and killed this many people and they were mad at her. Good job.
They should catch them, eh? This was the only way the all so smart Alan could think of right now? Catching them? This many? With two people, because somehow the ones in the military police, the top ten of their years could not use 3DMG. No. They had to ask a mechanic and a drop out for it.

"I know I am asking a lot. Almost the impossible. But by the walls, if your actions here can mean the difference in a single man's life, then you've made more than enough of a difference."
"I have made enough of a difference already by getting rid of the prophet telling them this bullshit."
Her voice was as bored as it could be. Still, a slight bit of anger was hearable.

Cora grappled herself into the wall, next to some cultist. He stared at her, scared for his life. He was still determined to get away from her, so Cora did the only logical thing. She grabbed his head and smashed it against the wall. He was knocked unconcious and she managed to get him to the ground rather safe. He was heavy and she could barely get him down, but with the use of his 3DMG it was easier. She was not the strongest, so carrying some of them was almost impossible. Esspecially if they would be doing it against their will.
She went up again. Whom could she save? Only the lighter ones, probably the girls. As she was waiting up there, her own hook came loose and she almost fell, only saved by her other one.
"Tzzz", she scoffed. The wall could barely support her weight. How would it be able to support both hers and the one of another person? She had been extremly lucky with the first one, his hooks were in rather sturdy places and it had been easy once he was knocked out.
Cora had to keep moving, it would use way too much gas than she would have wanted to use in this whole mission, but it was the only guarantee that she would not in fact fall down to her death.
A girl fell down next to her and she shot her own hook into her leg, keeping her from falling. She screamed and Cora quickly grappled into a different spot before her hook got loose on it's own.
It was a difficult journey downwards and while she was saving one of them, three fell down to their death on their own.
Cora smiled. The few people dying and the stress it caused for both Alan and Mitsuo made her quite happy.
She looked up, a guy fell right into her arms and her hook undid herself. She barely held on to him, or her life as she brought him down.
It took her a while, and many just fell to her death. From time to time she went down and borrowed new gas from the dead. But as everyone was finally down, Cora had managed to save nine from dying. The last one she had tried to save, had fought against her and the only reason she had not died right now was because she had a soft landing on his and some other peoples' bodies.
Cora was lying still between the dead for a few moments. It was peaceful. She imagined herself being dead. It would be quite peaceful. Just...being dead. But...given how Alan and Mitsuo would probably be happy about her finally getting what she deserved she did not want to be dead anymore.

She stood up slowly, almost falling back down. Her whole body hurt and she was not very pleased with the day. Cora grunted some indecipherable insults at everyone around her before she limped to Alan.
"Job done. I will excuse myself."
Cora did a half assed military salute and quickly went somewhere away before he could say anything.
She sat down, whimpering slightly. Cora opened her 3DMG. She did not get it off, but the restraints eased her a bit.
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Mitsuo Shimura on 13/4/2018, 19:17

Mitsuo felt a hand placed on his shoulder but he couldn't raise his dull eyes to look at the face if the owner.

"It's going to be okay. You can't just shuffle off and hide, right? You're the fire that burns deep in the torch. The hope of humanity. The wings of liberty. You're a shining example of all the good in the world, of all the courage and compassion and wisdom and love that we are capable of, as humans. You've saved dozens of people. You've touched hundreds of hearts. They need your light for guidance."

He recognised Alan's voice but his expression remained hollow. The MP captain's words echoed I'm the mechanic's mind.

"Can you do that for me, Mitsuo? Everyone's counting on you. I'm counting on you, friend."

His face changed to one of shock. A little flare of life returned to his sea-foam orbs.
'I can carry on...'
The words flashed in the young Shimura's head.

Mitsuo shakily rose to his feet, a harrowing site from anyone else's perspective, with his eyes never leaving the floor.
Eventually, he managed to tear his gaze away from nowhere and rest in the general direction to which he faced.

He followed Alan to the secret exit that Cora had found, hearing each word Captain Katlewande spoke to the mercenary but not seemingly reacting to them in anyway, nor did he pay attention to the way Miss Wolf looked at him.

Heading into the courtyard, Mitsuo's attention was brought to focus on the cult scaling the wall once Alan had pointed it out.

"I know I am asking a lot. Almost the impossible. But by the walls, if your actions here can mean the difference in a single man's life, then you've made more than enough of a difference."

Mitsuo wanted to do as his friend asked of him but his body stayed stiff. The mechanic had frozen in place, realisation and fear plastered to his face.
'I can't do it...' flashed again behind his eyes.

The young Shimura watched painfully as Cora rescued those that she could while he just... stood there. He couldn't even speak.
He managed to swallow his words, however, with the little saliva he had. His throat had dried out.
Seeing these people chase after an impossible dream.
'You should join them.'
His brain mocked himself.
'You're exactly the same as them.'

Mitsuo bit his lower lip, an attempt to not suddenly retort at his tricky mind.
"Alan," he spoke softly, not looking to at his spoken target but instead his mercenary friend that had just walked off to be alone, "please apologise to her."

He folded his arms, hiding his shaking hands, "don't give up on her. I'm sure you can use your smarts to try and understand her position."

Mitsuo let out an unsteady sigh, slowly collecting himself, "If you need me, I'll be back inside."

The mechanic left to return the room where the group just came from, not looking once at the dead bodies that scattered the courtyard.
Tears formed at his eyes but none fell.
His mind tormenting itself with different, multiple thoughts.
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 14/4/2018, 15:30

There was once a legend Alan was told as a child. Not by his mother, of course, she was too busy drinking or beating him up. His older sister, Helga, had told him this story once, after he tried to climb a tall stack of boxes, fell and bruised his ankle. It went a little something like this.
Once, there was a brilliant man by the name of Daniel. A genius inventor that would forever change the course of human events, even to this day. The inventor had a son by the name of Isaac. They lived peacefully in their village surrounded by trees, until one day the titans came to attack them. Defenseless against the massive beasts, the townsfolk decided to escape using their horses, including Daniel and Isaac, but alas - their horses were killed, and the rest of the villagers were gone. They were trapped in their laboratory, surrounded by titans and trees.
Undettered, the man and his boy worked tirelessly, day and night, on an invention that will allow them to escape the village and live their lives in peace. Just before running out of food, they finished it - the first sets of omnidirectional maneuver gear.
Equipping their new technology, the two jumped out of their window, and managed to hook their way to the top of the trees, out of the titans' reach. They were thrilled - especially the boy, who had never felt in his life something as exhilarating as flying through the air like that. However, the boy thought he could reach even higher. Despite his father's terrified warnings, the boy tried to hook himself onto a passing cloud - and fell down to the hordes of titans below.
The child aimed too high, and as punishment met his fate.

Alan knew the story was probably nothing more than just a myth, but he couldn't help but remember it when staring at the people climbing the walls of the cave. He wondered if they, too, knew the story, or what awaited them if they climbed too high.
Cora was the first to respond to Alan's plea. Her voice spoke of distaste and boredom, but her eyes were so cold. Alan couldn't blame her. She must've felt so alienated... but it was her own fault, after all. The consequences of her actions, the fall after hooking the cloud.
And yet, she obeyed. Alan gave a sigh of relief as he saw her hook towards the wall of the cavern. He was very thankful that even after the things he had said, she had it in her to carry on with the mission.
Mitsuo, however... was a different story. Alan turned, a worried expression splattered across his, while the young mechanic... was blank. His eyes were hollow, dimly following Cora as she flew through the air. He looked so fragile, like a gust of wind could send him falling to his knees.
"Mitsuo...?" Alan asked, desperately trying to save his friend from the despair he surely was sinking into. He knew all too well the great, dark void that waited beneath the minds of all. He had been trapped there too, not that long ago, when Adar was killed.
"Alan," the mechanic spoke finally, his voice shaky and weak "please apologise to her."
The young military policeman stared at his friend, dumbfounded and at a loss for words. He certainly didn't expect Mitsuo to dwell on Cora. Is that what this was about? Couldn't he see that there were much more numberous lives at stake than the troubled life of the mercenary?
And yet, Mitsuo continued. Alan was afraid that interrupting him might break him, that telling him that she's a lost cause would be more than he could bear.

Mitsuo Shimura continued talking, his weak voice etched into Alan's mind "don't give up on her. I'm sure you can use your smarts to try and understand her position."
And with that, the Scout turned his back on the dying humans behind him and returned to the abandoned building. Alan stared at his back, grieving, only now understanding how truly broken and defeated the scout must have felt. For a moment, that seemed like an eternity for Alan, he considered his next action.
Alan's team was in shambles now, only a few hours after venturing into The Underground. Hyda was back at the hotel most likely, with Peter nursing her back to health. Vindhelm was still covering the door, supposedly. Cora was a nutcase and angrily saving civilians, while Mitsuo broke down and went to recover backstage. Alan himself also wasn't doing that well, having to manage this chaotic mess, watching countless die, losing trust in his friends, but his will lingered on, a sense of justice unbroken. Before him were people, desperate people, clinging to their lives... and to the hopes they can escape this hell. That's what they all had in common, Alan's team and the cultists alike. They all just wanted to escape this place.
The mission. Alan and his friends came here to find out the reason the 3DMGs were smuggled inside, and to stop the associated crimes. It was all too clear now what the purpose of the 3DMGs was, as was the motivation of the people committing the crime. Poor, misled souls, simply following the promise of freedom.
And yet, there were pieces still missing from the puzzle. Apparently, this group was united before they became a cult, because the old man mentioned a man by the name of Mikael stole everything from them. Who is this Mikael? What could he steal from them? What did they have to even offer in the first place? Too many unanswered questions. They were not done yet, and it seemed the mission's importance only escalated. They came here to stop the trafficking and wrongdoing of a criminal group, but now they had the chance to save the lives of dozens of innocents.

It hurt Alan to watch Mitsuo walk away. He wanted to sit him down, make him some warm tea and nurse him back to health, but this wasn't the time. Every second Alan would waste would have direct effects on the life (or death) of the people above him. Alan also pondered the Scout's request. Why should he apologize to Cora? He didn't like to see her as cold and detached but it wasn't like she got mud on the carpet. The killed a defenseless man for no reason other than to quell her anger and rage. She directly disobeyed official orders. By law, she should be trialed. This isn't the sort of scenario where you apologize to someone. As much as Alan valued his friendship with Cora, he knew, without a doubt, just how little he actually knew her. It didn't matter how nice she was when she was with him, what mattered was how awfully she treated the rest of mankind. Alan couldn't accept that, not ever.
And yet, there she was, doing her part to save people, by his order. Alan didn't want to admit it, but Mitsuo was right. There was still hope for her.
Alan made up his mind. He knew what his next actions were going to be.

It killed him to do this, but Alan turned his back on Mitsuo, and faced the ascending people. He knew that if he joined Cora, he could also help catch the fallen people, but there was something more effective that he could do. He channeled all his will and determination into putting the makeshift paper cone to his mouth, and began speaking to the people.
"Please stop!" he began, his voice echoing through the air, the dusty, dark air of The Underground "Stop climbing! Your life is in danger!"
Only a few people heeded his words. A young boy stopped climbing and looked back to see what the noise was about. The rest of the people kept climbing, ignoring the pleas of the man below them.
"You have been misled!" continued Alan, his voice clear and sharp and full of emotion "The wall is too weak - it can't hold you!"
In confirmation, an older man fell down and hit the floor. The rest of the people didn't turn to look at him, nor at Alan. They just kept climbing, climbing towards their freedom.
"I know you want to escape! More than anything!" Alan begged, tears of desperation blurring his vision "But this is not the way! Climb back down!"
A few more people stopped climbing, as if to stop and think. One of them fell in the process. The rest of the people who stopped looked in horror, exchanged looks, and began to slowly make their way down, but the majority of the people kept climbing. On, and on, and on...
Alan did a quick count. Even with all the people Cora had saved, even with the people he managed to talk down, if they keep going at this rate - most people on the wall are going to die. Alan looked at the lifeless corpses, smashed against the floor around him. Their limbs were twisted in the chords and straps of their gear, their eyes agape in horror - or missing completely. Their final moments were of panic, of confusion. They could have lived, but they hadn't.
In a final, desperate attempt, Alan sucked in the air into his lungs, and screamed into his cone two words.
"LOOK! DOWN!"
His voice echoed loudly through the cave. Not one of the remaining people could ignore the desperate, authoritarian voice of Alan. They all stopped, and most of them did as he said, and looked down.
"Look down!" continued Alan, gesturing with his hand around him "Look down at all this death! At your friends! Your family!" the people silently observed the sight far below them, the limp bodies splattered across the courtyard and the cave floor, grotesque and haunting.
"Do not ignore me!" went on the young captain, channeling all his frustration and anger and fear into screaming at the top of his voice "We are here to help you! We also want you to be free! Come down.... for them."
Silence hung through the air. The people pondered, weighed their choices. They compared the truths the Prophet had told them, to the harsh reality that was just too vivid to ignore. They couldn't believe the lies anymore. The just wanted to be safe.
Slowly, they made their way down. Those who did not turn back came down another way, not long after.
And with that, it was done.

Alan slowly approached the cultists, who were huddled together by the garden. Most of them were crying, out of fear, out of relief, out of mourning for their lost loved ones. Alan was also crying, loosening up from all the tension. It was finally over. Despite all the losses, all the death and suffering, it was over. They saved most of the people.
Alan turned left, and saw Cora laying among the corpses dotting the floor. His heart sank for a fleeting moment, not wanting to believe that she had died in her efforts to save others. But then, she slowly rose from the group, muttering to herself angrily as she stepped away from the pile.
Alan couldn't help but chuckle a bit in reaction. For that split moment, he forgot all the wrongs Cora had done, and was just glad that his friend was alive.
However, it did not take him long to remember. His brow furrowed and he clenched his teeth. They had unfinished business. She couldn't be forgiven. Not yet.
The mercenary approached Alan, and he watched her, silent and brooding. She simply said "Job done. I will excuse myself" before walking off. Alan was glad that she gave him no room to retort, because he had no idea what to say to her. Mitsuo's words still echoed in his mind, and he couldn't quite wholeheartedly find the right way to deal with Cora. This was a conundrum that, even for Alan, was hard to solve.
Eventually, Alan decided that before he will check up on his friends, he must see the mission to the end. After finding Vindhelm and sending him to bring a dispatch of MPs and paramedics, along with Hyda and Peter, he returned to the group of survivors. He weighed his words carefully.
"We are bringing in food medical treatment, for those who would need it," he began "along with detainers for those who are deemed necessary to detain. We don't want to harm any of you."
A murmur went through the crowd. They were very not fond of soldiers, but they did believe Alan. He waited patiently until they settled down.
"Furthermore, I would like to talk to one of you about some unanswered questions, which you have the right to refuse to answer if you so choose." Alan spoke, his grey eyes warily watching for reaction "Would anyone care to join me?"
Silence. People exchanged looks, a few whispered to each other. Nobody wanted to rat out, but they were just saved by this strange young man.
"Fine." a voice spoke, from the back of the crowd "I'll go."

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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by cornix on 15/4/2018, 02:13

Cora only realized now that Alan saved most of the people. She acknowledged the fact but she did not care much. It was people, worthless people. They did not matter to anyone but themselves. And apparently Alan.
"I damn well hope he doubles my pay.", she whispered to herself. To be honest, she was not even sure how much she would have been payed in the first place. She really had to settle it with his superiors. If she was not...on the military's most wanted. For killing an old brat.
She scoffed at that thought. Good job, Alan. Good fucking job. She hated him for it. Well, maybe...maybe not hate. But definitly strongly dispise.

She enjoyed the restraints being more loose. Cora took a closer look at her wounds. The one on her shoulder was still bleeding, no surprise given it had no real time to close up. She ripped open her shirt to see it better. No use, she would have to bandage it properly. With a simple cut, the sleeve of her shirt was gone, and it was used to fix the cut.
Cora moved a bit, her whole body hurt. Given her problem to breathe she would not be able to do much more today without being out for quite some time afterwards. She hoped nothing more would happen.

Cora stopped looking at the wounds she had after getting tired of counting bruises.
She got rid of her 3DMG completly and closed her eyes for a bit. She only reopened them right before Alan asked them if they wanted to join him.
Only now she realized that Mitsuo was not here anymore. She wondered a bit where he had went to but...she was a bit too tired and exhausted to think off him or anyone right now.
She just continued laying on the wall, closing her eyes, trying to get back a bit of energy.
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Mitsuo Shimura on 16/4/2018, 21:31

Mitsuo stood in front of the robed old man's corpse. His composure had been regained but a sad and confused expression loomed on the mechanic's face.

He took a deep breath and sighed, trying to let off as much stress from his psyche. The young Shimura slowly made his way back to the courtyard, expression never changing.

His eyes scanned the area; noticing Alan trying to calm and support the mass amount of the remaining cultists which were saved and Cora seemingly taking a break to the far wall, away from anyone.

Mitsuo approached the mercenary with a slight waving gesture as a greeting, "hey... you ok?"
A weak smile appeared on his face but he quickly dropped it, figuring there was no use trying to pretend everything is ok now.

"Listen, about what Alan said... I'll talk to him later but... I don't agree with it. You're my friend... and his too, all be it with some complications. He may not see it yet but we need you. Always. You mean a lot to us... to me. I don't want to lose you. Or anyone else important to me."

Mitsuo's hand twitched, hesitant to place it on Cora's shoulder. His body screamed to comfort her but... would she appreciate in the current circumstances.

He scratched the back of his neck awkwardly, "... I guess what I'm trying to say... is sorry. For earlier. I shouldn't have had a go at you like that. It's not my mission. I guess the place got to me. In fact, I don't really want to be down here anymore."

Mitsuo chuckled, however, it wasn't in his normal light-heartedness, it was broken and misplaced.

"So... I'm asking you; would you please forgive me?"
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 17/4/2018, 01:12

The crowd of people parted, allowing the person who spoke to come forward. Alan glanced curiously, to see who this brave individual was.
A short woman met his gaze, her eyes gray and forceful, much like Alan's. It was hard to tell her age, because her hair was trimmed almost entirely. Still, she appeared to be older than Alan. The pain and sorrow in her eyes spoke of age.
For a small, awkward moment, nobody spoke. Alan stared at the woman, waiting for her to say something, and she stared back silently. The restless crowd watched the two, worried.
When the young captain understood she had no words left for him, he turned back to the crowd, trying his best to put a comforting smile on.
"We will now go discuss matters privately, on the other side of the garden. Please wait here, it shouldn't be long until more help arrives."
And with that, Alan turned and started pacing towards the garden, the quiet woman behind him.

Alan looked to the right and spied Cora and Mitsuo together. He grit his teeth in frustration, and kept pacing, a bit quicker this time. It felt like he was running away from his problems, delaying the inevitable, but sooner or later he would have to decide what to do with Cora, taking into account the law, his understanding of justice and his relationship with both her and Mitsuo. It was such a delicate manner, that Alan told himself he will need a moment of quiet to truly think it over. In reality, he just didn't want to deal with it yet.
To take his mind off of it all, he decided to begin talking with the girl tailing him.
He turned his head to look at her as he kept walking, and adjusted his glasses. "What's your name?" he asked, trying to keep his voice light.
The woman glared back, visibly trying to figure out if this was a trick that was somehow going to incriminate her. Understanding her suspicion, Alan thought it'd be best if he began talking, to loosen her up first.
He cleared his throat slightly, and began telling her about himself. His real self, not the young man wearing trader's clothes and a 3DMG she was seeing.
"My name is Alan Katlewande. I am a soldier, a captain of the Military Police. I'm pretty new to this job, but I'm a quick learner." he looked at her for signs of sympathy, but she was still adamant and silent. He continued.
"I grew up in a place called Krolva. It's a small town, much smaller than this one. Didn't have a lot of friends back then."
And you still don't, a voice in his head said.
"Silver." the woman said, regaining Alan's focus. It took him a second to understand that she was referring to her own name.
"Well, nice to meet you, Silver." he said, smiling slightly.
She didn't smile back.
The two carried on walking silently, finally settling on a small wooden stage by the building. Alan sat on its edge, and motioned to Silver to do the same. She did so, reluctantly.

Alan rubbed his hands together, thinking of where to start. He saw how reluctant Silver was about sharing personal details, so asking her about her own life story wouldn't be the way to go. Instead, he should ask about the group, the cult, all the recent events. He figured a nice way to lead to that would be using the surrounding garden. Alan scanned the area, looking at the wooden poles and walls assembled throughout.
"I see you certainly redecorated your garden." he stated. Silver nodded, hesitantly. "What's all this for?" he asked her, trying to use his small size and weak demeanor to his advantage. She spent a while considering, before answering. She didn't take her eyes off him, perhaps in fear of saying something wrong.
"Training." she finally said "They taught us how to use the gear here. You know, the... climbing gear."
Alan listened in fascination. It was crazy to think how little the people of The Underground knew about the world above. She didn't even know what 3DMGs were called. No wonder these people could've been misled into a cult. Sympathy swelled in Alan, but he did his best not to show it.
"You say 'they'" Alan asked, trying to do so nonchalantly as to not make her feel more nervous "Who's 'they'?"
Silver shrugged. "The higher ups in our group. Those who had experience from before Derrek took over."
Alan looked at her, becoming more confused than before "Who's Derrek?"
She stared back at him, also confused "Derrek? The High Prophet?"
When Alan didn't respond, a small smile crept up on her face. "Wow. You guys really have no idea who we are."
She looked back at the group by the wall, then the corpses around, and finally sighed.
"I guess I can tell you now. We'd all be dead now anyway, if nobody would've stopped us from that crazy man's plans."

"It all began a couple of years back. We were just a group of young people, trying to find a way through life. It was hard for us to come by food, so we... did what we had to do." she quickly looked at Alan for judgement, before looking at the ground and saying quietly "Sometimes."
"We all had this dream of one day making enough money to buy ourselves a one-way ticket up the stairs and into the world above. Merchants filled our heads with tales of endless skies and boundless land, of prosperity and happiness, where one can explore the world all his life and still die of old age before he finishes to.
We were foolish children back then. And just like foolish children, we actually believed we could do it. That by 'saving up' enough money, we could make that dream a reality. But reality came to find us first." her voice darkened. Alan listened in anticipation. This was what he was waiting for. The pieces of the puzzle were being put together, one by one.
"It happened after the two eldest people in our group, got into a fight. Nobody knows what it was about, but we've never heard them shout like that before. And then, the day after, we found out just how fuc-" she gazed at Alan, slightly embarrassed "Um, screwed we were. Mikael, our friend, our brother, that bastard! He took all we've saved up until that point, and vanished during the night. Nobody knows where to exactly, but chances are he bought his way up and never looked back. Stars damn him, there was enough there to afford at least two one-way tickets. And the other eldest, Cord, we found him dead, along with one of the other sisters. She was a new girl, I didn't even get her name."
What? This was different. Apparently, there was one loose end after all. This Mikael fellow, he disappeared completely. Not even these people know what happened to him. It frustrated Alan to have another mystery on his hands, but this one was a lot less problematic.
He waited patiently for Silver to continue. She took a couple of breaths to calm down. It was clearly visible that talking about this was hard for her, but she also wanted to, like it's been weighing down on her for a long time.
"We were so lost back then..." she muttered "A couple of us left. Arin even took his own life. And then... that's when Derrek showed up. I mean, he was around from the beginning... but he was sort of in the background. Not the sort of person you'd talk to. But he came up and told us that this was our punishment for our sins, and that we had to listen to his guidance in order to achieve our dream. It sounds crazy now, but it was nice to believe his words. He had this confidence, this charm... it was really easy to believe in what he was saying. It made sense that we'd be punished. We were criminals by that point, after all." by this point she had no shame in talking about what they were, presumably because what came after was so much worse.

"At first, his demands were logical. We started recruiting people in the neighborhood, old and young alike, and attended prayers. He pulled these weird light tricks with fire and smoke. I still have no idea how he did them, perhaps he really was a wizard, but whatever it was - it made people believe him more than they believed anything in their life. Then, things got extreme. He took a huge amount of the sisters among us, claiming that in order to achieve our dreams, we must make sacrifices to the stars above. Only later did we realize he sold them off to people, presumably from above since we've never seen them again."
Alan listened, horrorstruck. All this was going on, and the Military didn't even know! It was straight up shameful.
"And... you?" he asked, not wanting to strike a nerve. He was curious as to why she wasn't sold off like the rest.
She looked back, her eyes unyielding. "Infertility." She said solemnly. If she was sensitive about the subject, she certainly hid it well.
"Anyway, one day he got us the gear and told us to begin training, all while filling our heads with tales of the land above, the stars and their wishes. Stories about... demons." she looked away from Alan "I still didn't believe whatever that pig was cooking, but he was bettering our situation, more than anyone else did. I had no choice."
She looked back at Alan "And now we come back to today. Some members of our group were sent to pick up supplies at the market. It didn't go well. The prophet told us to get geared up, and instructed our higher ups to lead us up the wall to the exit as soon as we were ready."
She grew silent. Alan could fill up the rest. Well, all except one thing.
"And the Prophet?" he asked, squinting under his glasses "Where is he now?"
She looked at him, furious, and spat to the side.
"Gone." she said, without looking up "He disappeared. Nobody knows where to."

And that was the story. It seemed all these people were brainwashed by Derrek, and they were in very vulnerable positions. Alan truly felt for them, but he had to make her aware of what was to come. It was only fair, since she opened up to him.
"Well," he began, shifting uncomfortably "From what you tell me, your people have been subjected to travesty after travesty, caused by terrible men."
Silver nodded, staring at Alan with suspicion in her eyes.
"It seems all the wrongdoings you have committed during your lives were under the command of these people," Alan said, gulping in expectation of what was to come "However, you were still the people who committed those crimes."
Silver stared back, her eyes widening. Slowly, she began snarling at Alan, the same way a wolf would.
"We didn't have food to eat!" she barked at him "How the hell can you hold us responsible for crimes we had to do to stay alive."
"I don't." replied Alan, sadness in his voice "I really don't."
Silver calmed down slightly, but her face was still sour "The rest of your kind isn't as smart, is that what you're saying?"
This time, it was Alan who nodded silently.
"Well, that's just great." replied Silver, standing up and kicking a nearby pebble. She looked down at Alan, storms brewing in her gray eyes "Why shouldn't I tell my people to run off right now, and escape your stupid judgement?"
Alan looked back up calmly "Because then you won't be free."
That seemed to hit Silver hard. She sat back down, taken aback, hugging herself close.
Alan put a hand on her shoulder "I promise to you, I will do all in my power to give you all a fair trial, and to defend your positions. After that, if you're found not guilty, you won't have to return to The Underground. You'll be able to continue living in the world above. You'll be able to see the stars."
Silver closed her eyes, drinking in Alan's words, the same way her people believed Derrek's words. Her faith in them wasn't solid, but they were just so tempting.
"I think that covers everything. You're free to return to the group." said Alan, only now noticing that Vindhelm had already returned with the soldiers and the food. The survivors were now sitting in circles, eating modest meals, while the soldiers were lining up the bodies far away.
Silver stood up without a word, not thanking Alan for the unpleasant time.
"One final thing." said Alan, standing up after she walked a few steps away. She turned to look back at him, afraid of what was to come.
"That guy that disappeared... Mikael... when did that happen, exactly?"
Silver stood there for a bit, calculating. It took her a little while. Alan waited patiently.
"Three years, ten months." she finally responded, and continued walking after she saw Alan had no further questions.
Alan continued thinking about that number as he eventually walked from the wooden stage he was sat upon. 4 years were a lot of time. The odds of finding this person were basically none... and yet something felt missing. Like there was an obvious connection he was just not seeing. But that could wait.

Alan walked back and saw Cora and Mitsuo together, where he left them. After thinking a bit about how he was going to handle the situation, he slowly headed their way. They obviously grew silent when they watched him approach.
"Hey." he finally said, as he stood next to them. What followed was an uneasy silence. Alan continued, understanding neither of them were in the mood to reply.
"I just wanted to thank you for your service today." he spoke, his eyes slowly moving from Cora to Mitsuo, and back to Cora "It was... a lot rougher than we anticipated. All these people would now be dead if it weren't for your bravery and efforts. Humanity owes you a great debt. And... so do I."
Alan promptly saluted them, a genuine salute. He hadn't done that in months.
"And then... there's the elephant in the room." Alan looked over nervously at Cora. There were a hundred different contradictory things he wanted to say at once, but he didn't. Instead, he went with what his conclusions convinced him to say.
"Cora... I apologize for speaking harshly to you, but we cannot ignore what you did to that man." he said quietly, not a hint of anger in his voice "I... decided not to report the details of that event to the higher ups. Not yet, at least." his stormy gray eyes stared at her, filled with pain and regrets.
"But do not take this for acceptance of your actions. I am giving you the ability to turn yourself in, when you're ready, if you'll be ready." the young captain stated, solemnly "And until you do, do us both a favour and stay away from trouble... and from me. I think that's for the best."
Unable to look at the pain he caused her, Alan turned his head, he wasn't going to let her see him cry, to show her how much it hurt him to lose one of his only friends because of his own actions.
"The payment for your services shall arrive at your homes in the next few days." the young Military Police Captain said, turning to leave "You can expect it to be much grander than what was originally offered to you."

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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by cornix on 17/4/2018, 10:03



Cora heard footsteps coming closer towards where she was. She opened one eye, saw that it was Mitsuo and closed it again. He certainly was no thread to her. Atleast, not physically.
He asked her if she was okay, she was not in the mood for answering and was pretty sure her looks would speak for herself.

"Listen, about what Alan said... I'll talk to him later but... I don't agree with it. You're my friend... and his too, all be it with some complications. He may not see it yet but we need you. Always. You mean a lot to us... to me. I don't want to lose you. Or anyone else important to me."
She opened her eyes and looked at him. Her expression was blank, almost similar to the one a recently peacefully deceased one had. She appreciated him for what he said, but she was still angry. Not that much with him anymore, seeing how he was.
He talked about how he did not want to be in the underground. He was right with it. It was obvious that he did not want to be here, or welll...that he did not belong here either.

"So... I'm asking you; would you please forgive me?"

Cora stared at him, this time with a rather confused look on her face. She blinked slowly and opened her mouth, closed it again and then stared at her own feet.
"Forgiveness, eh?", she said slowly, her voice indicating her being unsure about it, "I...am...not sure."
Cora paused.
"I don't feel the need to strangle you anymore, so I suppose that counts as forgiveness.", she chuckled a bit.
"You are forgiven."
She looked at him, smiling shortly and then went on to pick out stones from a wound on her leg.

Her almost meditative action was interupted by Alan. By now she had calmed down a bit and was way less angry at him than she was before.
Alan talked. Cora listened half assed. Vex was just making bla sounds in her head. He was everything but happy to see the military police captain and he was sure to let her know.
Alan talked of 'service' and 'thanking'. He even called both of them 'brave'. Mitsuo had not been brave towards Alan, Cora thought. He had been brave to come here. To her. But maybe it was not being brave, given he still did not understand anything.
He even saluted. Cora did not care about it. She only saluted to mock people by now, neither was she impressed that Alan did it towards her.

And then he did it.
"We cannot ignore what you did to that man. I... decided not to report the details of that event to the higher ups. Not yet, at least. But do not take this for acceptance of your actions. I am giving you the ability to turn yourself in, when you're ready, if you'll be ready. And until you do, do us both a favour and stay away from trouble... and from me. I think that's for the best."
Only now did she look up and stared at him, her expression being a mix of horror, supriseness and the feeling of betrayal.
What did he say? He was going through with it?
He turned his head and added something about payment. Cora could not care less right now. Later probably, but definitly not right now.

How could he talk of it like this? How could he judge her for her actions? He did not understand either her or her actions at all! It did not give him the right to judge her in the slightest for what she did or does. He had been growing up as a normal child. He had had the luxury of being in the military police now. A safe space. He could not do anything if he wanted to. Cora had neither of all of that. Her twisted past made it impossible for her to work the same way Alan did. To do what he was able to. To stop herself from doing other things. It was not fair and Cora intended to let him know and understand. And as Mitsuo was there as well...he would hopefully understand as well.

Cora sprung up as he turned around to leave fully and grabbed his shoulder. She forefully turned him around to make her see her own face. She stared at him for a bit, carying the same expression as before.
"How...how can you judge me?", she asked quietly, her eyes being wide open, "How can you even...think of doing that? You don't understand me. Neither of you!", she said, giving a quick look to Mitsuo.
"You...you had a childhood, an actual one. My parents were murdered when I was three. My brother before my own eyes. I tried saving him and all I got was cuts on my back and arms."
She stopped holding Alan and showed him her already uncovered arm. She looked desperate. Desperate for them understanding, for them stopping to judge her. For them to like her for the way she was.
"Wait", she said quietly and got rid of her shirt, now only standing in front of both of them in her underwear. She did not care that there were dozens of people standing in the same courtyard as she did. Cora just wanted to make them know and the opinion of others did not matter a single bit to her.
Cora turned around. Her stomach was scared all over, but her back was worse. The huge scar from her shoulder to her hip was still what she prided herself most in. Then the two burning marks, the pentacle and the fox above it. The rest were whip or cut marks from various occassions.
A few abbrassions and bruises were added today. One of the bruises almost covered her entire right body half.
She looked down to her feet.
"How...how can you understand them. Feel with them...", with them she mostly meant the cultists today, she just hoped he would understand, "how can you do that...how can you not judge them for what they did, because they had excuses? They were hungry and desperate. And then...how can you judge me for what I am doing? For what...we are doing? You don't know what I have gone through. Only because I am good at hiding it and you have never seen it."
Cora turned around again. She did not expect him to say anything. Either of them. She had done what she felt she had to do. Cora tumbled backwards against the wall, whimpering a bit because of the pain. She let herself glide downwards and pulled her knees towards her body.
She stared blankly onto the ground.
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Mitsuo Shimura on 17/4/2018, 15:12

Mitsuo's face became solemn and stoic. His friends words were drained out but his chosen ignorance.

"I've had enough of today. I've had enough of you. Both... of you. Seriously, how can you both be so... stiff?"

He turned to Alan, "I don't want your payment. I came because you were my friend who asked for help. I came because I knew you'd do so for me. What I do want is some sort of summary. What's going to happen now that we're done here?"

He took a moment, eyes unwavering from the Captain.

"As for how you're treating Cora? Goes against the justice you stand for. When I met you Alan,I looked up to you. You wanted to make a difference. Be the good guy. You didn't let anything deter you from that. What happened? Instead of sticking out and being a role model, you've blending in and sticking to the corrupted rules. Rules that you can't apply to what happened down here. Down here there is obviously no right or wrong. Heck there wasn't any military until we came. Therefore you shouldn't be able to charge Cora for what she did... no, you can't."

"As for you," the mechanic spoke as he turned on his heel to face Cora, "you can't expect us to fully understand anything. To you, we're outsiders. We haven't lived life through your eyes. We can't say we relate to what you've been through. Like you said, we haven't seen it. And you can't expect us to know now that you've just shown us your scars. Yeah, we may understand more but the full picture still isn't clear without you letting us in. Without you telling us."

Mitsuo sighed, and looked down at the floor. He pinched the bridge if his nose, "I'm sorry but I've had a long day. I've seen things that I've never wanted to see. All I want to do now is go home. Relate to that."
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Mitsuo Shimura

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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 18/4/2018, 14:52

Alan was about to depart, only to hear the scuffling of footsteps on the ground behind him. Before Cora even landed a finger on him, he knew he was in danger. She was far larger and stronger than him, and her violent instincts were far more developed. And yet, he didn't do anything. He left her grab him by the shoulder, turn him around. Why was he submitting himself so easily? Could it be that deep down, he felt like he deserved to be beaten for his actions?
He was expecting his face to be pummeled, but instead he was faced with something far worse - the consequences of his hurtful actions. Cora's entire face spoke of pain, of horror. Alan assumed that's what he must have looked like when she killed that man.
Then, she began speaking. She asked how Alan could possibly judge her, and inside him a quiet voice asked the same question. She accused Alan of living the easy life. Alan wasn't too keen to agree, but his eyes widened when she spoke of her own story. Alan had never heard her speak of it before, of her dead parents, the dead brother she suffered to protect, how quickly she lost it all. He always guessed her life was difficult... but this? No wonder she ended up so scarred, so tattered physically and psychologically. It was a miracle she didn't go mad altogether. For the first time, Alan got a glimpse of just how little he understood Cora, and what a tragic mistake he could be making.
"Cora..." the Policeman said, but she just became more and more desperate. She raised her arm, her muscular tool of destruction, and showed how scarred it was. He was rather deformed by the scars, but Alan always just assumed it was part of her profession. Unsatisfied with the result, she began unbuttoning her shirt and revealed to Mitsuo and Alan the travesty her body had become. Alan felt deep embarrassed staring at Cora, not able to take his eyes off her, but it was not because of her nakedness. It was his shame cutting through him like a knife, understanding how he was planning to victimize the ultimate victim even further, how he felt okay with throwing his friend into a trial because she did something morally questionable without considering the situation to its fullest. If he could side with the cultists for committing crimes because of their history, why couldn't he do the same for Cora? Because she was strong? Because she was good at hiding just how devastated she was?

Cora sat down, deflated. Alan was at a loss for words. What could he possibly say to this wounded, troubled soul, this criminal-bred-by-the-world, that could mend the error of his ways? Probably nothing anymore. He looked up at Mitsuo, dying for words of comfort. Instead, he was also told off by him, by how disappointed he was at Alan and his so-called justice. Slowly, he lowered his gaze, and stared at his feet. He had never felt so alone in his life, so alienated by his choices. Never had he been this shamed by his decisions, in his entire professional career. Even during his greatest despair, after Adar's death, he only felt dead inside, despair of existence. Never regret. Never such an alive, throbbing, painful feeling.
He looked at Mitsuo, and then at Cora, swallowed his pride and finally accepted his err. They were right. He had no place to judge Cora for what she did. She wasn't him. He wasn't nearly killed in combat today. He didn't need to struggle for survival.
He came to the feeling of something being very, very wrong. Not only with this entire mission. His hunt for Severin Wildner, which he was nearly certain was wrong, and the whole matter of people like Mikael and Derrek ruining people's lives and leaving scott-free. Mitsuo was right. He had forgotten his roots, what he joined the job for.

Defeated, Alan dropped and sat on the ground, his head and arms slouched over his legs. It was time for him to answer to his own crimes.
"Cora." he said, his voice now quiet, raspy, broken. He didn't bother hiding the fact that he was crying now "I - I don't suppose there's anything I can say to mend things between us. I won't claim I un-understand you, or ever have. But you're right. I didn't have the right to judge your for your snap decision, because I simply don't understand you well enough. I forgive you for what you've done, and hope that in time you will able to do the same for me, once again. I... I care about you. A lot. I hate this burden on our relationship. I just want to be friends."
The young Captain then raised his gaze to Mitsuo, a grim expression on his face. "You wanted to know what happened? A summary? I owe that to you, too. Just as I owed Cora an apology. These people are civilians, tricked and deceived by evil men who promised them freedom from this hell. However, they did commit petty crime throughout their 'service'. At worst, some of them will face minute charges, and then they'll be sent off to the real word, upstairs."
Alan face darkened "However, it's those people who misled them, who made them go through all this struggle, that we've yet to catch. Their names are Mikael and Derrek, and I'll do all in my power to find them, after this is all through."

Alan rose to his feet once more, a hint of determination awakening in his shame, which has eased up now that he had spoken his mind.
"You two have... given me a lot of food for thought. It's time to answer some unanswered questions. It's time to figure out who I really am."
He turned and began walking away, leaving his friends behind.
"Because I don't think I'm the bad guy," he spoke quietly "But the fact that I am unsure of that is enough to worry about."
And with those words, he left the two alone. In his heart, he hoped that by atoning to his sins, he will be able to one day mend the bridges that he had broken, to find the love he had lost.

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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by cornix on 18/4/2018, 15:07

Cora had not expected Mitsuo to react the way he did. She did not think he was the type to do that, but...just like he did not understand her. She did not understand him either. And given that she just threw it into their faces that they should stop judging her for what she had done, she tried not to judge him for what he was.

Mitsuo stopped talking, visibly angry. She looked at him for a bit, it was okay that he was angry. It was okay that he wanted to go home. She remembered her first times she encountered violence and she had felt the same way. Or atleast...she believed she did. It had been quite some time since that had happened.

Alan apologized to her. He seemed to...atleast understand what she had meant now, and what Mitsuo had meant. It affected him more than she had thought and she managed to feel bad for it. He sat down next to her and talked with Mitsuo, Cora listened passively. After a short while he stood up again and went away.
She had managed to trouble him more than she had intended to. It was fine now, she was not one that held grudges against things like these...she would remember them but being mad at either of them now? Now that they had reacted this way to what she had said? Impossible.
She was worried about herself for being this way, for a mercenary it was not the best quality to forgive easily...but she did. With certain people she apparently did.

Cora stood up a bit later than Alan did, dressed herself up and held out an arm for Mitsuo so he could lean onto her if he wanted.
"Let's go home Mitsuo...I will care for your wounds, if you don't mind that.", she smiled weakly and hoped he would not push her away now.
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

Post by Mitsuo Shimura on 18/4/2018, 17:40

Mitsuo gave a hefty sigh. Today had been long and dark. The Underground had proved its rumors true and left a mark on the mechanic. There was now a small chip on his shoulder.

He didn't know how he felt, now that distance was placed in between him and two of his closest friends.
Sad. Lonely. Angry. Pity. Regret. It was just a mix-up and it all left him confused.

Cora had offered Mitsuo an arm and help with his wounds. The young Shimura didn't take her support but nodded to the mercenary's words.
"Yeah... thanks."

He wrapped an arm wound his stomach, putting pressure on the wound where he had been stabbed by using his blood-soaked shirt.
He had forgotten it was there because of the heated fall-out between Cora and Alan, which he dragged himself into.

His mind wondered if he should have or not. If he made the situation better... or worse. He let his feelings get one step ahead and everything fell apart in front of his eyes.

Nightmares. He was bound to have them. Although all he wished for was a comfortable place to sleep right now, he dreaded the visions he'd see behind his closed eyelids.

Mitsuo shuffled alongside Cora back to the direction they had come from. At long last, it was time to head home. The man Mitsuo entered the Underground as, however, was not the same man Mitsuo was leaving as.

There was one thought that ran through the mechanic's mind.
'This changes things...'
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Re: The Lower People (Closed to Mitsuo and Cora)

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